Red, white and blue

With Independence Day in early July we’re seeing lots of red, white and blue. In keeping with that theme, here’s a horticultural selection revolving around those patriotic colors. Read about six different plants that have red, white or blue flowers in these archived articles:

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Damsel Bugs, Family Nabidae

You likely have some beneficial predators in your garden that you’ve never paid attention to. Damsel bugs are slender, tan-colored bugs that look a lot like assassin bugs or other plant bugs that feed on plants. But all of the damsel bugs, or nabid bugs in the Family Nabidae, are predators. To learn more about this good guy that eat aphids, caterpillars and more, read this article…

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Breadseed or Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum

Breadseed poppy is a cool season annual whose small grey or black seeds are often used in baked goods, but technically is illegal to grow in the US since the plant contains narcotic alkaloids which are the active compounds of opium. This typically is not enforced for poppies grown as ornamentals, and there are a great variety of poppies in pink, red and purple, as well as white and bicolors. Learn more about Papaver somniferum in this article…

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Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My

Hopefully you don’t actually have any of these wild animals in your house, but you might have a few plants that do have animals in their common name. Here’s a hodgepodge of unrelated plants that all refer to some animal – be it an arthropod, bird or mammal. Read about these different plants, including one weed and another you might consider a weed if you don’t have felines, in these archived articles:

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Amazing Plants

Everyone has a vision of what a “flower” looks like, but plant flowers are extremely variable and come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations. Take a virtual tour of a dozen weird and wonderful flowers, each from a different plant family, and learn about some of their interesting characteristics, pollinators, or uses. No daisies here…

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Articles on Warm Season Vegetables

Now that both the soil and air temperatures are heating up it’s time to get those warm-season crops in the ground. These are plants that originated in tropical or subtropical climates, so can’t tolerate frost, but grow like gangbusters in a warm, humid Wisconsin summer. Read about a few warm season vegetables (and one herb) in these archived articles:

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Lemon-scented Plants

If you want to add some lemon zest to your garden, but can’t grow a lemon tree, consider trying some lemon-scented herbs or other plants. Many different plants contain the same chemical compounds that give lemons their distinctive fragrance. This article covers a collection of plants that have scents suggesting lemons.

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Articles on Yellow Flowers

Yellow is a warm color that brings brightness and cheer into the landscape. Yellow flowers come in all shades from a soft butter color to brassy gold. Read about a few plants with yellow in their common name or with early-season yellow flowers in these archived articles:

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Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum

With attractive flowers and foliage, Virginia waterleaf is an herbaceous perennial of moist deciduous forests that blooms a little later than most spring-blooming wildflowers in woodlands. The common name comes from the variable markings on the leaves which resemble water spots. Learn more about this native plant in this article…

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Serviceberry, Amalanchierspp.

If you’re looking for a small tree with attractive white blossoms in spring and small fruits that can be food for animals or humans, consider one of several species of serviceberry. There are a number of plants in the genus Amalanchier that are graceful trees or shrubs that can provide year-round ornamental interest in the landscape. To learn more, read this article…

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